The Beverly Hills police officer who arrested British pop star George Michael for lewd conduct in a park toilet in 1998 got the go-ahead on Tuesday to proceed with a $10 million slander suit. Marcelo Rodriguez's first attempt to sue Michael, claiming the singer mocked him in a video for his hit "Outside," was thrown out by Los Angeles courts two years ago on the grounds that public figures such as police officers are not entitled to sue. But an appeals panel ruled on Tuesday that the suit could proceed because Michael had made statements after his arrest that accused Rodriguez of "specific and objectively verifiable acts."
Michael, who publicly acknowledged his homosexuality after the April 1998 incident, accused the undercover policeman of entrapment in subsequent interviews and poked fun at the arrest in his "Outside" video. He pleaded no contest to a charge of committing a lewd act and was fined $810 and ordered to perform community service. Rodriguez is seeking $10 million for humiliation, emotional and physical distress, and medical treatment.